- April 13, 2011
The widening gaps between Americans of average wealth and well-off Americans, and especially, super-well-off Americans over the last 40 years have now been fully documented and heavily discussed. But it’s not just about money. We are seeing, as well, growing economic, social, geographical, and cultural divisions between Americans of less and more education. Now, Sean Reardon of the Stanford School of Education has described another way that these two developments have increasingly combined to widen social class differences. More and more over the last four decades, affluent parents have leveraged their financial assets into better academic skills for their children. Having those greater skills, in turn, gives their kids an even larger head start in the race for higher education and its financial payoff.
- March 10, 2011
Student coaching significantly increases the likelihood that college students will stay in school and graduate, according to a new study released today by researchers at Stanford University School of Education. The study, conducted by Stanford University Associate Professor Eric Bettinger and doctoral student Rachel Baker, reviewed the academic records of more than 13,500 students from eight colleges and universities across the 2003-4 and 2007-8 academic years.
- January 28, 2011
Duke professor Charles Clotfelter spoke Thursday at the School of Education about the role of big athletics at American universities. During the talk, presented by the Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA), Clotfelter raised fundamental questions about higher education and the role of athletics at institutions like Stanford. “What are the aims of the great institutions we revere?” asked Clotfelter, an economics, public policy and law professor.
- January 06, 2011
Newly appointed state Board of Education member Michael Kirst, an emeritus professor of business administration and education at Stanford University, who served on the state board during Gov. Jerry Brown's first administration, said in a phone interview that he is gearing up for a busy three-year term. Among his top priorities: shifting the way schools are allowed to spend their money and overhauling the state's student testing system.
- January 05, 2011
Dr. Michael Kirst, of Stanford, has been appointed to the California State Board of Education. He currently serves as a Professor Emeritus at Stanford University, where he has taught since 1969. Previously, Kirst served on the California State Board of Education under Governor Brown from 1975 to 1982. Kirst also served as the Director of Program Planning for the U.S. Office of Education and was Staff Director for the U.S. Senate Subcommittee on Manpower, Employment, and Poverty from 1967 to 1969.
- December 15, 2010
Launched in 2006, the Initiative to Improve K-12 Education has been key to expanding endowed faculty positions and graduate fellowships in the School of Education, spurring multidisciplinary research in educational issues and enhancing programs that allow Stanford to partner with schools and organizations serving youths.
The interdisciplinary Center for Education Policy Analysis (CEPA), directed by Susanna Loeb, professor of education, applies scientific methods of analysis to discover what works in our nation’s schools and why. CEPA involves faculty from such disciplines as economics, law, political science, psychology, public policy, sociology and education.
- December 09, 2010
On the football field, a talented quarterback often calls the option play, holding off on the decision to run or pass to the last possible moment. This gives him time to survey the field and choose the best option for moving the ball forward. Policymakers have options, too. Given the chance, they can wait and watch before making a key decision. When it comes to testing in California's education system, this is a great time to call the option play. Last summer California along with 40 other states adopted the Common Core Standards, academic goals for what students should learn and when they should learn it. These new standards are different but also better than what we have.
- December 07, 2010
The public verdict is in and overwhelming: The better the education people get, the stronger the U.S. economy will be, a poll shows. But don't count on folks to support higher taxes to improve schools. Eighty-eight percent say a country's education system has a major effect on its economic health. Nearly as many — 79 percent — say the U.S. economy would improve if all Americans had at least a two-year college degree, according to an Associated Press-Stanford University poll.
- November 17, 2010
The evaluation of teachers based on the contribution they make to the learning of their students, value-added, is an increasingly popular but controversial education reform policy. We highlight and try to clarify four areas of confusion about value-added. The first is between value-added information and the uses to which it can be put. One can, for example, be in favor of an evaluation system that includes value-added information without endorsing the release to the public of value-added data on individual teachers. The second is between the consequences for teachers vs. those for students of classifying and misclassifying teachers as effective or ineffective — the interests of students are not always perfectly congruent with those of teachers.
- October 21, 2010
After decades of flying under the radar, America's community colleges are moving to the front and center of national efforts to improve education.
Private foundations are launching major initiatives to strengthen community colleges across the country – including a $35 million competitive grant program recently announced by the Gates Foundation.
- October 06, 2010
What's the remedy? A panel of educators at Stanford cautioned against the quick policy cures implied in the explosive Waiting for Superman. The controversial film, directed by Davis Guggenheim (of An Inconvenient Truth fame), made the cover of Time, was touted on The Oprah Winfrey Showand was awarded the audience award for best documentary at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. It premiered at Stanford School of Education's Cubberley Auditorium on Monday, Oct. 4.
- September 07, 2010
The pay-for-performance plan targeted third through sixth graders who took standardized tests in math, reading, writing, science, and social studies. The students could earn up to $100 — $20 per score of Advanced in each test. Students who scored proficient were awarded $15 per test. In order to make sure the proceeds went directly to the students, payment was made in “Coshocton Children’s Bucks,” which could only be redeemed by kids for children’s items. Participation in the program was randomized based on a lottery as specified by Robert Simpson, a local factory owner, who financed the effort.
Social science researchers collect much of their data through online surveys. In many cases, they offer incentives to the participants. These incentives can take the form of lotteries for more valuable prices or individual gift card codes. We are doing the latter in our studies here at CEPA Labs at Stanford. Specifically, our survey participants receive a gift card code from Amazon.
The Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe and CEPA Labs at Stanford University commit to offer READY4K!, a text messaging program for parents to promote child development, to all parents of four year olds in Miami-Dade and Monroe Counties during the 2015-16 and 2016-17 school years. In addition, CEPA Labs will offer READY4K! to parents of preschoolers in Dallas Independent School District, San Francisco Unified School District, Acelero Learnings multi-state network of Head Start centers, and Little Sprouts preschools. In total, the commitment will impact 39,800 families. CEPA Labs will conduct large-scale randomized controlled trial studies to assess the efficacy of the expansion to new school districts and child care centers.
Q DOES A TEACHER'S SEX MATTER FOR A STUDENT'S ACADEMIC EXPERIENCE?
A Although we would like to think that a teacher's gender will have no bearing on a child's academic experience, several studies have found that assignment to a teacher of the opposite sex may negatively impact a child's academic experience. On average, teachers are more likely to have negative perceptions of a child's performance if the child is of the opposite sex. Children are also likely to perform worse academically when assigned to teachers of the opposite sex.